Ep 13: How to optimize videos in your marketing strategy – Interview with Patrick Frank

Ep 13: How to optimize videos in your marketing strategy – Interview with Patrick Frank

About this episode

In this episode of Digital Marketing Victories podcast, we talk to Patrick Frank from PatchBay Media, a professional video producer since 2009 and author of Zoom Out: The Video-First Playbook. We talk about how businesses and event organizers had to switch to organizing meetings and events online since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. During the interview, Patrick also gave away his most recommended tools and apps that you can use to optimize your marketing strategy.

So if you are interested in learning about utilizing videos in your business to persuade others, then this episode is for you.

I kind of talk about how you become a video first business and really, there are opportunities everywhere to add video, whether it’s in your sales and marketing, whether it’s in your training and onboarding. There are just ways where you can use video super effectively to drive sales, to have staff cut down on staff training time, and things like that.

Patrick Frank

Key takeaways

  • Why you might want to think about replacing PowerPoint and Zoom with alternatives that are more engaging and persuasive.
  • Why companies from various industries should start making videos, and how to get more comfortable adding video production to your workflow.
  • How to think through new tools and tactics to become a more effective virtual speaker.
  • How marketers can become more effective by using videos as well as more interactive virtual events.

Connect with Patrick Frank

Purchase Patrick’s new book Zoom Out: The Video-First Playbook

Resources mentioned during this episode

  • Edit Video Calls – Turn your everyday Zoom calls into shareable videos for marketing and training
  • Social Video Studio – Unlimited done-for-you social videos for agencies
  • Milk Video – Turn long-form video into highlights
  • bonjoro: A mobile app that allows users to easily record a personal video, add a message, and send it right to their customer’s email inbox
  • Prezi Video: Let’s you show your content on-screen with your video calls
  • Dovetail: User research analysis and repository platform.
  • Hopin: A virtual venue with multiple interactive areas that are optimized for connecting and engaging
  • Run The World helps you host virtual conferences, talks, and happy hours
  • Gather: Virtual spaces for more meaningful human connections
  • Bidsketch: Easily create professional proposals
  • Proposify: Proposal software

Thank you for listening! 

If you’d like to know more about change-makers in digital marketing, celebrate their wins, and discover how they built a breaking ground career, subscribe, share and comment on the Digital Marketing Victories Podcast. 

Episode Transcript

Katherine Ong 0:31
So today, we’re joined by Patrick Frank. Patrick is an author, consultant, principal of Patchbay Media, and an award-winning remote video production company. He’s also got a new book, it’s called Zoom Out, the video first playbook. This book introduces readers to new platforms and strategies to connect more effectively with other people online.

I think this episode is going to be perfect for you if you’ve ever wondered how to sell through your ideas effectively by using video and avoiding Zoom meetings if you’re curious about what video tools might be on the market and other ones that you might need to have on your radar if you want to support this new kind of different asynchronous way of working by leveraging video to educate and persuade other people. So he’s also going to share with us his take on the future of meetings and events.

Without further ado, here’s our interview with Patrick Frank.

Patrick, thanks for agreeing to be on my podcast.

Patrick Frank 1:25
Yeah. Thanks for having me. This is great.

Katherine Ong 1:27
Can you tell us a little bit more about you and your background?

Patrick Frank 1:31
Sure. So my name is Patrick. I live outside of Washington, DC. And since 2013, I’ve been running a small video production company, mainly working with nonprofits in the Washington area. Here we have lots of nonprofits, associations, things like that. I’m really a specialty in the education niche. So universities and education focused-nonprofits, things like that.

And 2020 lockdowns and literally illegal for me to film anything. And so as my cameras were stuck in their cases, people still needed their videos done. And so my client started reaching out, like, hey, like, we need a video for this, we need a video for that, what are we going to do? How are we going to do it? And we had been exploring kind of like more productized video models, like doing some animation, doing some user-generated content, you know, mainly stock graphics, and B roll and things like that, that we had access to, and like, can we make compelling videos without filming anything. And so we had been kind of testing this out and had a little bit of success. But then when it became like required to do that, that’s when we really doubled down and tried to make a couple of formats work.

And so in May of 2020, we launched edit video calls for people to send us their long-form content, whether that’s something formal, like a webinar, or a podcast episode, or something informal, like just a call with a client or a team member or something like that. And our team will go through, we’ll find shareable moments and produce them into a custom template that people can share on LinkedIn, embed on their website, things like that.

And so as I was exploring all these new ways of making videos, I kind of got this idea of like, wow, like, I got to share some of this stuff. There’s all this explosion of video platforms. Now we don’t have to just use Zoom anymore. And so that’s really where the impetus for the book came from, was I just wanted to share kind of all this stuff, I was learning about how to beat Zoom fatigue, what are these new platforms that are coming out that are really exciting, and allow people to connect in more delightful, more personable, more efficient ways?

And, and so that’s where I’m at now. So I’m doing some coaching and consulting around some of these ideas with some larger companies around virtual events and presentations and using video. I kind of talk about how you become a video first business and really, there are opportunities everywhere to add video, whether it’s in your sales and marketing, whether it’s in your training and onboarding. There are just ways where you can use video super effectively to drive sales, to have staff cut down on staff training time, and things like that. So in addition to your typical uses of video, there’s less stuff you can do behind the scenes, or video is really effective.

Katherine Ong 4:14
Have there been any interesting video usages that aren’t in digital marketing campaigns that you can share with the audience?

Patrick Frank 4:23
So I’ll be honest like I’m definitely more focused on the sales kind of side like more of like the hand to hand combat if you will. And but I’ll kind of share an example of something that I really like and maybe there’s a broader kind of marketing kind of takeaway here. But there’s a really cool platform called bonjoro. B O N J O R O, and bonjoro was one of a couple of these kinds of personal video platforms. So what you could do is you can set up a Zapier to say, okay, every time someone signs up for something, every time someone like, you know, downloads, ebook or buys a course or something like that, but Bonjour will prompt you to record poured a short video, kind of thanking them, introducing yourself welcoming them, whatever it might be.

And so imagine if you signed up for something, let’s say you paid 100 bucks for a course. And all of a sudden, that course creator is sending you a 32nd video as they’re walking their dog, and they’re just like, hey, I just saw you sign up for the course. Thanks so much. Like, I hope you learn a lot. Be sure to reach out if you need anything, I’m here for you. And I hope you get a lot of use out of it. And I’m excited to have you go through this course. So now like, what kind of a great interaction is that? You know, so now you’re totally bought into this course, this person. So that’s a really simple way to be able to utilize video in a way that you might not have thought about.

Katherine Ong 5:37
That’s cool. Actually, I haven’t seen that yet. On the marketplace. I obviously sign up to a variety of email newsletters to see what other marketers are doing. But I haven’t seen that yet. So can you tell me a little bit more about the consulting practice and the editing offering that you’ve got and how that might be leveraged by marketers?

Patrick Frank 5:57
Yeah, definitely. So I think one of the things that we’re trying to do is just to cut down on meeting time within a company, right? So for instance, one project we’re working on now is doing asynchronous, all-staff meetings. So now instead of having everybody come in for that, an hour or two hours, whatever, sit through a couple of presentations, well, can we break this up into several 20-minute videos, or even shorter, that people can watch on their own time that can be really tightly edited. And so I think that’s one trend I’m seeing is just being able to take these large meetings, that we’re always kind of mandatory, and be able to deliver that in an asynchronous fashion that people can work on, on their own. So that’s, that’s one way.

And then just I think, presentations, I just think we need to stop using so much PowerPoint, there are really great tools out there. In the virtual camera space, if you’ve heard that term before. Basically, it’s software that replaces your camera inside of Zoom, or any other meeting, Google Meet, or any other kind of platform that you’re using, and allows you to have your face next to your content. So you build slides, where your face, you don’t have to choose between whether I’m going to present with my face, or I’m going to present with my slides, it’s all the same thing. And it’s really engaging and really immersive. And you can do a lot with it. So the two platforms I like here are Prezi video, and this app called hm, mm-hmm. Which is really fun.

Katherine Ongr 7:21
Is it an add-on to Zoom, you pay for it extra or it’s just an app?

Patrick Frank 7:25
You pay for it separately. Yeah, exactly. They have some trials. And some, it’s like, they’re both freemium. But they just allow you to create a presentation around your face like your face is part of it. And then you basically just tell Zoom, or whatever, like, hey, Prezi is my camera. mm is my camera. And then you kind of have both windows, side by side. And you can go through your slides that way. Very cool.

Katherine Ong 7:53
So going back to the asynchronous idea, I just keep thinking, like, if I was the senior exec, that I would want to make sure that everybody actually watched the video. They know, the whole idea of putting butts in seats, is that in theory, they’re listening. And they’ve absorbed whatever the important corporate messages were changed, or HR policy or whatever. So do you have some sense of how people are tracking views on this in any sort of way? How do they know people have actually absorbed it? Or maybe not watched it?

Patrick Frank 8:29
Right? So I mean, I would say, I would argue that, like, do you know that anybody’s listening or paying attention that much if they’re there live right, right, and camera off, they’re out for a walk, like, you know, how much attention is there, if you want to kind of compare apples to apples? So look, I would just say that, you know, I don’t know how you’re gonna quiz your team or anything like that. I guess my point is just if we can just try to make this more engaging, give people a reason to be there, whether it’s live video, and they’re doing something with virtual cameras like I just explained, or they can deliver it asynchronously, in a tightly edited package broken up into several different videos that kind of have just like, you know, what is the exact need to know, stuff for this meeting?

I think that’s going to drive people to actually engage with the content, understand what’s going on, and what the priorities are for the company. Another way that marketers can start using some of this material, whether it be asynchronous meetings, or some of these virtual cameras is just sharing clips, right? If you have an all-staff meeting, I think that there’s going to be some portion of that, that your customers, your clients that people would be interested in, that you’d want to share out. So it doesn’t have to be the whole thing.

But if you think about investor calls and things like that, sharing publicly what’s going on behind the scenes, that could be an interesting tool for marketers to use. There’s an app called supranormal, which allows you to record a meeting live, and then there’s literally a highlight button. And so as the meeting is going on, you can just click highlight, highlight, highlight, and then it’ll pull out all of those things. segments from that call so that you can easily share that one-minute, two-minute 32nd piece out to your social media to include in a blog post, maybe you can just embed a video in that blog post.

And you can promote that via your newsletter or something like that. So that gives marketers and me, you’re not scripting anything, you’re not filming anything with real cameras, but you’re creating video content from some of these things. Everyone likes to pull back the curtain and peel back the curtain. And so I think that that could be an interesting thing for marketers to try.

Katherine Ong 10:28
I wonder if you could also use that software if you have got a longer webinar and you want to chunk it into an e-course? Well, then that would be an easier way to sort of chunk into smaller videos and send it.

Patrick Frank 10:39
That’s the whole name of the game, right? It’s like you have these webinars, and you hope that you get some audience participation with those because otherwise, why bother going live, right. And so I think that that’s kind of the name of the game that with webinars, it’s just to give people a reason to go live. And then exactly right now you have this hour-long, this 90 minutes, a chunk that into smaller, shareable pieces. There’s another platform called Milk video, I really liked this for webinars specifically. And they do a really good job of giving a really easy browser-based tool where you can create those clips, fix the transcript, push it into a branded template and get it out. It’s really cool.

Katherine Ong 11:18
No, I’m totally gonna have to check that out. So how can marketers get started and learn more about the video, either learning from you or getting started with their video strategy? Do you have any sense of – say like they’re in a business that’s just not really using video at all? So how do you think they should wrap their head around it to get started?

Patrick Frank 11:38
Yeah, absolutely. I mean, obviously, the best way to get started is just to make a video. And so one of my kind of favorite starting points now is that if I’m sitting, if I were going to reply to an email, like, let’s say, I get a referral comes in, Hey, someone told me that you’re awesome at making videos, I need to make a video for XYZ, can you help? So instead of writing this long email that says, Yes, we can help you. And here’s why we’re qualified. And here are some examples, blah, blah, I just hit “record” on Loom. And I just replied back and I just say, “Hi, thanks so much for reaching out. I took a look at your website, I saw that you had this and this, I have some ideas that we could do XYZ, let me know when was a good time to chat”. It’s a 3 second to six-second video. But now they are introduced to my personality, they show I’ve shown that I care because I took a look at their website, or whatever it might be, to give them some ideas. So I’m invested. And it was really fast to do right, I didn’t have to, again, this isn’t like setting up cameras, running scripts, or anything. It’s just really natural. It’s just a reality.

I think this is kind of the new name of the game here is to be able to use more video as opposed to emails and texts and things like that. This comes especially in handy when how many times you’ve been on email where it’s like, see my replies in bold, see my replies in blue. That sort of idea right? Now you can just send videos back and forth, Hey, I saw what you wrote, here’s what I’m thinking XYZ, you know, maybe you can do a screen share where you have, again, either like a website or a slide deck or something up there where you can kind of comment on each item. I think it’s just a way more natural way of communicating than some of these forced things we’ve done before with email and other media.

Katherine Ong 13:13
I’m always really surprised at the fact that with some of the stuff that I do, especially if I’m using a subcontractor for something, maybe I need to actually show my screen. And I’m always really surprised that people don’t realize that you have, you know, a game recorder built into it if you’re on a PC. And since you have a game recorder built-in, you don’t even have to go get the software, you literally can just turn it on, plug in your microphone. And you know, and follow the cursor and start talking. I mean, doesn’t have your face, but it’s just a very quick way of doing a screen share. And you don’t have to go find whatever chrome plugins software, all that kind of stuff.

Patrick Frank 13:47
Yeah. Yeah. That works. Mac has it too. So with Mac, it’ll record your screen. I don’t think it’ll do the audio. Maybe it does. Yeah, I think it does. So quick time on Mac also allowed me to do this. It’s not as shareable, not immediately shareable as Loom makes it. Because as soon as you hit stop, it sends you to the browser, Hey, here’s the link. You can trim it, you can do some extra stuff with it, which you wouldn’t be able to do if you were just recording natively on your computer with QuickTime or on Windows.

But yeah, I think this is the easiest way to get started where you just turn your camera like turn your webcam on. Say, Hi, tell people what this video is about, why you’re sending it and record for 30 seconds or 60 seconds, send it off. That person can watch it on their own time, they can watch it at 2x speed, they can share it with somebody else. That’s another really good use for this stuff.

And I think that one of the things about meetings is like if we had 15 People in this meeting before how many people are actually going to participate, probably only three or four. So now those other 10 people, we can just send them the link, we can highlight certain portions for them that are just relevant to the kind of using that highlight tool that I talked about earlier. So I think it’s just all about being more deliberate about these communications and how we’re working with our team.

Katherine Ong 15:00
So I’ve got maybe a tough question for you. It seems like we’re both extroverts. And I believe you soak in a little bit, right? So both of us have spoken about, you know, in front of people that is not a big deal. But I think for the minority, to be honest, and so how do you get people more comfortable with off the cuff, turn on a video camera, record something, if that’s not their jam, and they’re, you know, in public speaking seems very frightening. Because what I’m hearing is that with asynchronous work, it could be really much more effective to send a video with your face than an email. And we’re moving in that direction, which means more people probably should get comfortable with this medium. So any tips for the wallflower that doesn’t really want to turn on the video,

Patrick Frank 15:50
You know, I don’t think your face is extremely necessary with any of the things that we kind of talked about, I get the bare minimum, you need audio, right? Just talk. You know, and I think iMessage is great for that where you can record short audio messages, Facebook Messenger, something else I use, you know, and a lot of times, it’s just quicker to just talk than it is to type out long things. And then I think, again, like you kind of brought it up to the screen share things huge, right? If you can just show somebody what you’re expecting from them, you have a question, just show them what you’re looking for. It makes it really easy for them to reply, as opposed to trying to explain it in text.

So I think there are some people that obviously are more comfortable writing and are better writers. And so I think it just comes down to what, what is the quickest way for you to get your message across, and to be able to receive a response. So if some people prefer writing, and then I prefer sending a video back, or vice versa, you know, like, we can just accommodate a lot more preferences this way. And I got, like, my big thing is like, I just think it’s all about speed, I think it’s all about just being able to deliver that message effectively, as quickly as possible, is video or at the very least a screen shares something like that.

Katherine Ong 17:07
Okay, that makes sense. Okay, so tell me a little bit more about your book. So what prompted you to write it? Who do you think the audience is? What do you think they’re gonna get out of it?

Patrick Frank 17:18
Yeah, definitely. So again, as I was kind of working through these issues of not being able to do the traditional video route, and being it was still producing really effective videos, especially for virtual events and things like that. And I just kind of wanted to share a little bit of my experience, on the tools, how we were making these videos, what the steps were, and again, bring into it some of these meeting strategies and things like that. And so really, the book kind of goes through kind of a little bit of the history of video conferencing technology, then we kind of go into meetings and effective communication.

Then we talk about video first presentations with the virtual cameras and virtual events, kind of what are some of the ways to set up successful virtual events, virtual conferences, and I think they’re, and this is something that’s not going to go away the virtual event, I think that as things opened up more, as we get out of this pandemic, at whatever point that happens, there will continue to be that virtual component to every event.

Because there’s just, there’s just so much opportunity to have that accessibility, have people from all around the world attend these events. And the opportunity is there for a smaller and more intimate in-person experience for VIPs for those investors, for the people that need to be there in person, I don’t know how many conferences you’ve been to. But you know, I would go just because my company was like, Hey, go to this, go to this conference for us or something like that. And you’re just kind of walking around and you’re like, I don’t know why I’m here. I don’t know who to talk to, like, yeah, the stage stuff is great, you learn some stuff, but it’s really hard to like, you know, if I see someone walk, it’s just sitting over there.

I mean, am I gonna go up to them and just kind of strike a random conversation, whereas, in a virtual event, I can hover over their face, I can see their name, I can see their LinkedIn page, I can see who they work for. We may have even listed a few interests that we have in common. So as soon as I messaged them, I know I have an in like, Hey, I saw you’re interested in this. Me too. I would love to learn more about what you’re working on. You know, that’s the better way than having to strike up a conversation with a random person at a conference so I may be an extrovert but I’m not crazy like just going up to anybody and talking to them. I think most people can identify with that.

So I think that’s really the experience that we need to deliver with these virtual events. Just creating better conversations because we just have so much more knowledge. It’s you know, it’s kind of like a blind date versus a Match.com or something like that. Right. You know, a friend sets you up, it’s a friend of a friend and so like you think okay like this, this could go well right? We have two degrees of separation. But I think a lot of times that Match.com is better because you just know so much more about that person going into it. So I think that’s kind of the analogy there.

And so finally then towards the end of the book, we’re just kind of talking about more. I call it your video-first life, right? Talking about video and education, and video and healthcare. And so, you know, I think the pandemic really exploded all these opportunities for video. And the last stuff, we had all these tools before we just weren’t using them to their fullest extent. And so what does that fullest extent look like? And what do the next 10 years look like using video tools and strategies?

Katherine Ong 20:41
Well, I will tell you that I’m the extrovert that had gotten that sort of knack for my dad from walking up to complete random strangers. I was at a conference. And if it looks like somebody’s looking a little down and a little lonely, sometimes I literally will go up to them and strike up some random conversation. But I will tell you that the success rate of connecting with them on something you have in common is low. I might show them up because they got somebody to chit-chat with them. But sometimes it works. I think I got to climb out of it once out of all the shows I’ve gone to, but most of the time, it’s a bomb. So if it makes you feel Yeah.

Patrick Frank 21:19
Well, that’s all. I actually really liked that strategy of like, yeah, find the person who’s down and make their day. Like, that’s really nice. That’s really cool.

Katherine Ong 21:26
They just strike me as lonely. And so I wander over and chat with them. I love that. Cuz then that doesn’t feel as awkward. I also really hope that virtual events don’t go away. I got a chance to speak at Brighton SEO, which is the biggest UK search conference. No way would I’ve been able to fly over there and speak at that show in person. Oh, yeah. You know, so the amount of like, I don’t know, Kid logistics with babysitting or whatever, in order to go to that show plus the travel, I just probably wouldn’t have happened. So I’m pro virtual events, for sure.

Patrick Frank 22:00
That’s awesome. Yeah. And I think they probably had more sessions, they had more speakers. And that’s the thing like because you don’t have to travel, you can do more speaking engagements. So you can do two or three things in a day when before it’s like that one event may have taken your entire week may have taken three days.

So on the flip side, there’s just more competition, right for speakers. So your content has to be good, your presentation skills have to be good. Your setup within your home office, or whatever it is you’re filming, you got to be on, you got to be able to engage the audience. So that’s really the opportunity for people. It’s a totally different game than being onstage.

Virtual speakers, I kind of talked about it as like, you have to think like a DJ, right? Think about a DJ, you went to a wedding or something, right? Reading the room, playing songs on the fly, using all the hardware and software. And I think that’s really what speakers need to do. Right? It doesn’t there’s not even an expectation that everything needs to be live like you could cut to a video, you could go for a poll, you could pull someone out of the audience and talk to them. And so I think having all of these tools at your disposal, instead of just going through your slides in order for an hour. That’s really how we can deliver better presentations.

Katherine Ong 23:15
What kind of resources do you have in that regard for somebody who wants to up their virtual speaking game?

Patrick Frank 23:21
Yeah, I would say the first thing is to start with the virtual cameras. So check out Prezi you go to prezi.com/video. And that app, Mm-hmm. And I think these are really great ways to start. Being able to deliver, just like I said, I think the big thing is just getting rid of PowerPoint, I think everyone’s done with PowerPoint. You’re either reading your slides, or they’re not well designed, or like, you know, the face is a magnet, right? And so when you go fullscreen on your slides, and your head is just tiny in the corner, it’s really hard to engage with people that way, I think. And so if we can use more native video, presentation software, as these virtual cameras, I think that’s a great place to start.

Katherine Ong 24:06
Cool. Um, so you mentioned in your book that you think using videos could be really persuasive. You’re also kind of negative on Zoom meetings a little bit, which is ironic since for recording on Zoom. But anyway, you, you ultimately think that video could be used to build trust. So can you tell me a little bit more about how you think marketers could do that? Particularly how to persuade. I’m trying to think of the scenario.

So you’ve got a scenario where you are an agency and you need to persuade your client or you’re on a team and you need to persuade another, another team to execute something. How do you think a video would be able to help you with some of that or maybe present to your CEO if we’re all remote, right? So sometimes you do a C-level presentation.

Patrick Frank 24:52
What I would do is I would take the last five to 10 minutes of whatever call I’m on and I would ask a couple of questions to get a testimonial essentially. So let’s use the client conversation. So let’s say you’re finishing up a project. And this is like a wrap-up call, or like you’re almost done something like that is, “Hey, I’d love to ask you a couple questions about how this engagement is gone, you know, and you just roll it, like, start with four or five questions, you know, the first question you can start with is, what was the problem? Why did you come to us? Why did you hire us? And then how has working with us been?”

And if you’re at the end of an engagement, or you know, maybe if there’s a couple of weeks or a couple of months that have passed, you can have some measurable results? Those are great questions to answer, and now you can just clip that 5-10 minute segment, maybe clean it up a little bit. And now you have a really great testimonial video, you can put on your website that you can share around when you’re doing different prospecting activities and things like that.

Katherine Ong 25:50
So how do you get permission from your client to use upfront? Do you have something in your I don’t know, contract or something that talks about recording all this video?

Patrick Frank 26:00
Yeah, so I would, you could just informally like, hey, we have a call tomorrow. Hey, at the end of the call, would you mind if I recorded a quick conversation just about this project that we’ve been working on, I would love to feature you to our future clients of ours to talk about how awesome you are and how great this project has gone. Because it’s great marketing for them to write.

Everyone’s in a similar field, you’re working with similar clients. You know, who wouldn’t want to be featured in a way that shows that they’re a successful company that had this, this campaign that went off really well. So I think a testimonial video that you can just record, at the end of a call you’re already having, it’s a really good way to get started there.

Katherine Ong 26:47
So I also work personally with some clients that have heavy technical information. I am just wondering if you’ve ever come across executing videos from that kind of stuff, and whether or not you have any best practices about what might work best.

In particular, I was thinking I was at a presentation, one of the conferences, and I want to say it was SAIC, or SAP, one of the big consulting firms — they had taken all of their white papers that were C- level and created podcasts out of them with a professional voice actor, and they got way more uptake and actually reading the white papers or absorbing the information than reading anything. So I’m just kind of curious because I yeah, my folks tend to, they like to talk about journal articles, or, you know, it’s a presentation and a webinar, and it seems a little long, etc. Just wondering if you’ve ever run across using video on those elements more?

Patrick Frank 27:43
Yeah definitely. So as I mentioned, we’ve been working with nonprofits, mainly for the last almost 10 years. And nonprofits have annual reports, they have their own research papers that they produce, and things like that, that get funded by the target foundation or something like that. And those are 1,500 pages dense, a very niche audience. And so what we’ve done is we’ve created, you know, trailers almost for these longer reports. So you know, if you can just do a 9-second video with maybe some high-level findings and invite people to come read the whole thing. First of all, it makes them aware that this report exists, that’s the first thing is, you know, How is anybody going to know about this report, that’s, that’s being launched. But also just is able to give some insight.

So for instance, we worked with an education nonprofit about high school dropouts. And so they had done a whole lot of focus groups and market research about kids, young people, you know, from late teens to early 20s, who had dropped out of school, and what were some of the reasons and so they had this big report about that. So we flew around, and we interviewed all these students that were, you know, back in 2014-15, something like that. And, and so it was really cool to be able to kind of humanize that data to kind of be able to put a face to it. Because when you’re just looking at stats and stuff, and graphs and kind of reading executive summaries, like you forget that they’re like actual kids that we’re talking about here. And so having this accompanying documentary piece to go along with the report was really impactful. And they’re able to play it at events, they’re able to talk about the work that they’ve done. And then of course, for anyone who’s interested in doing a deep dive, that full report is there for them to digest.

Katherine Ong 29:29
So I’ve spent a little bit of time working on user feedback for websites. And I would think our listeners would be focused on that and social and search stuff in general. Have you ever seen any unique usage or platforms that you could use that aren’t as frankly expensive as UserTesting, which is multiple thousands a year?

Patrick Frank 29:54
I don’t know anything about user testing, but I say that there are some apps that are coming along, there are some platforms where basically you could throw a whole bunch of user, let’s say, customer interviews, maybe, let’s say you have 100 customer interviews, you can put them all into this one platform. And with AI and some other things, they’ll be able to kind of pick out keywords, they’ll be able to say, “Oh, interesting.” I think there’s an app called Dovetail that does this. I’m not super familiar with this space. But that would be something that I would do is just to kind of take conversations and try to find trends that are happening in those conversations.

Katherine Ong 30:36
From video. Yeah, yeah. Fascinating.

Patrick Frank 30:40
Oh, that’s interesting. That’s gonna be a little different than like your heat maps or whatever. Like, you know, again, I’m not exactly sure exactly like how what your version of user testing looks like. But I would think that a very simple way to do this, and maybe not the most scalable would be to just do short interviews with customers with clients. And then you’d be able to have all those transcripts that would be searchable, shareable, you get insights that way.

Katherine Ong 31:05
Yeah. So user testing, I love user testing to get me wrong. It’s just pricey. But then you give them prompts. They recruit people based on your demographic, and then they record they are trained to talk out loud. So they pick people that are good at doing that. And then you can have them go from search to your website, which is the part that I like the best. But you prompt them with various questions. So this is your scenario, how would you look forward and Google? What result? Would you click on it? Then once you click on it, you’re like, why did you click on this website, but if you like about this website, and they literally talk out loud, related all of that, and you get all this insight? That’s every single time I’ve done it, it’s shocking. Just like, wow, you searched for that term?

Patrick Frank 31:43
Is it synchronous, like someone, is there with them, or is it asynchronous? And do you pay them?

Katherine Ong 31:45
Definitely, yeah, they get paid, obviously. And they can do it whenever they want. But usually, it’s really insightful. So it’s not their face, but it is audio plus a screen share. And it’s very persuasive when you’re pretty sure that people are having trouble with a piece of your website, and you just want users to demonstrate that. But you could certainly do it with social as well because you can throw anything at them that’s on screen, right and record anything. Anyway, I was just kind of curious, because I’ve always found it really persuasive. But like I said, user testing is pricey. Um,

Patrick Frank 32:19
Yeah. How many users do you have in a typical project? How many user tests would you do? Is it something that’s like, a handful? Is it dozens? Is it hundreds?

Katherine Ong 32:29
Yeah, I mean, you only need to do I think it’s eight to 10 to be statistically significant. So it’s actually a very small number.

Patrick Frank 32:35
That IS small. Yeah. Yeah. Cool. Yeah. So I mean, in like, generating transcripts and looking for the kind of, like, you know, similar words that are being used, like, is that something that then happens, or, or?

Katherine Ong 32:47
Well, I have that’s new, that’s a new strategy that I’ve heard of, I would love to do that. Um, but usually, you do get a video afterward. And I forget, if you get a transcript, I think you do. user testing, in particular, let’s do just, it’s got some editing in it. So you know, once they get stuck on a particular thing, if you want to show that to people, they also have professional services to kind of summarize all this for you, which is also helpful if you’re short-staffed. Alright. But yeah, you basically get, here are the things that users had trouble with. And from my perspective to get these are the keywords they were looking for that you had no clue that was things you should focus on, right. But oftentimes, people use it, because they’re either trying to test out a new design, maybe because you can do it that way too. Or you’ve already redesigned, do you think there are some problems? Do you want to get some user feedback? Anyway, I think everybody should do it. I’m just curious about tools.

Patrick Frank 33:43
That absolutely seems like something that you could pull off by yourself. Like maybe before, three, four, or five years ago, you really needed to, like reach out to that firm that was able to do a screen recording. And they had a whole process. But it sounds like just based on your description of it. Like anybody can do that, you know, you could, maybe identifying the people is the hardest part. But yeah, once you find them, it should be pretty straightforward to be able to walk them through stuff, ask questions, and then be able to go back to that video that transcribed and kind of fix things and make decisions.

Katherine Ong 34:14
I honestly think the hardest part is just making sure your questions aren’t leading the users. That’s the part that requires the most thought. But once you’ve nailed the questions, then yeah, in this new Zoom world, as long as you’ve got a participant on the other end that can talk out loud. I don’t understand why people aren’t doing more of it. I mean, it DOES require time, but the insights are huge.

So talk a little bit more about the video platforms and events. In particular, I want to come back to you’re talking about an interface where you’re at the networking part of a conference and you can hover over and see what the person is like and whether or not you think you have something in common only because I’ve participated in a few over the last year or two. And they seem very awkward. I think Hopin was okay, but I don’t think that people were really engaging and then I participated in another one that literally has sort of a layout of avatars and you’re supposed to click and start a conversation, and I thought – no way, even as an extrovert. I was like, I don’t know how to start. So which ones? Have you seen any that were good?

Patrick Frank 35:14
Yeah, I think Hopin is pretty cool. Um, I just hosted an event that we did on Run the World, if you’ve heard of that one. And so basically, I wanted to have a panel discussion format with some of the people that I interviewed in the book. And so I found someone to host it who has a podcast and is in the remote work world. And, it was really fun. So we opened it up and everybody kind of jumped on stage, you can pass the mic and share the mic. And people can introduce themselves, ask questions, you can run polls.

And so we had this hour-long discussion. And at the end of it, we had that one-to-one speed networking feature built in. So we kind of explained everything right at the top, like, Hey, we’re gonna do all this kind of stuff. We had a couple of giveaways there. You know, I’m going to send a couple of books to people. And then I met some really cool people in the one-to-one chat that happened afterward. Obviously, that’s something that you couldn’t replicate on Zoom like you’ve breakout rooms and things like that. But this was just like a little lighter, a little more fun. And along the lines of lighter and more fun.

Another platform I really like is called Gather — the URL is Gather.town. And Gather is like Zoom meets Pokemon, or Zelda or something. So when you first arrive, you choose your avatar. And it’s all in its eight-bit glory. And then you walk around a map that looks like a Pokemon or Zelda. And so the example I use in the book is thinking about like, like academic session, like a poster session or something like that. So if you’re familiar, so people, academic conferences, they present their research in the form of a poster. So it’s like a big room, and there’s just like hundreds of posters.

And so the idea is you go to the poster room, you get to walk around, you get to see like, what everybody’s working on, you get to talk to the authors, things like that. How would you do that in Zoom? Would you send out a Zoom link for each poster? Would you group people together and kind of go round-robin, like, none of it would be a great experience. But in Gather, it’s really natural, you just use your arrow keys, and you walk around to the different poster rooms.

I interviewed someone from Ghana for the book. And he was telling me the story where someone goes to the poster session because they know exactly what poster they want to read and talk to the author. And as soon as she shows up, who does she see but her college professor, that, you know, she hadn’t seen in a while, who’s also at that same poster because he’s interested in the topic. And so now you’ve created that serendipity, which is one of the things that people always kind of complain about. It’s like this lack of serendipity. And so I thought that was super cool. It’s a very fun platform.

And of course, you can just customize the heck out of it. You can do whatever you want. Building this virtual room, a lot of schools have started to just recreate their campuses, in Gather, like in the metaverse. And so you think about things like office hours, you think about things like lectures, right? Like, think about a lecture hall where you want to do small groups, right? People just move to the side of the room. And then the professor can just kind of walk around the room. And then if something happens in a corner, he can just turn on a button that addresses everybody and just says, Hey, there’s a question that came up in groups. see over here, just wanted to mention blah, blah, okay, back to your small groups, and then he continues to walk around. So I think adding that spatial layer is cool when it’s done, right. And it’s not goofy and over the top, you know.

I think Gathers is one way to do it, where it’s pretty light and fun. And it is using a format everyone’s familiar with, with video games, some of these 3D ones where you’re kind of first-person are just a little disorienting, or you’re not really sure, like, how it’s going or anything, but again, as you know, if it looks like a Gameboy, everybody kind of understands the mechanics of that.

Katherine Ong 38:53
I like the idea of having spots on the map that are topical, too. So that you do run into people that are around the same topic. The one that I went to that I thought was really awkward. They literally created I don’t know, it’s kind of like the lobby of a conference right? We’re back to going up to the people that look lonely. Just envision that but digital, right where everybody’s like lurking they grab their doughnuts and they’re just hanging around the edges right? That kind of thing. That’s what it was but virtual and I was supposed to like to go talk to somebody. Anyway, it did not work. I’m gonna have to check out Gather, which looks much more interesting.

So what other industries other than the ones that you mentioned in your book, do you think are getting disrupted by video? I’m kind of curious. Some people have been using video for a while obviously. Hello, YouTube’s been around for a long time. But I’m personally very amused by industries that are just now starting to think about doing video. Which ones do you think are really going to have to more rapidly adopt video?

Patrick Frank 39:54
I mean, I feel like everybody kind of has rapidly adopted video.

Katherine Ong 39:57
Well with varying successes, I guess. Yeah.

Patrick Frank 40:07
Yeah, actually. Yeah, you know, I mean, I think any anyone that has any kind of customer interaction, I think that there are opportunities to do more video.

So like when I think about, like finance, for instance, you know, I think that there, there might be some opportunity there for people to deliver more like explainer videos, and like how different features were like walkthroughs of different things. There might be more of like a customer service element to it, there might be more of the kind of, like I mentioned, like that kind of personal videos, like bonjoro. I think the one thing that jumps in is just, I just thought it was the finance field, where you just don’t really see a whole lot. But I think that there might be some opportunities to delight customers a little bit better with some uses of video.

Katherine Ong 40:55
Yeah, that makes sense. So thank you for being on the podcast. I’ve got a couple of standard questions. I asked everybody who’s been on the show. So the one bit is, as you could probably get a feel for based on the questions. I’m a bit obsessed with your target customer and the user because I think a lot of times that gets missed in working with your clients. Was there anything that you got recently, that was sort of an aha, about the end-user that the client maybe was not aware of, that some of your work kind of surfaced?

Patrick Frank 41:25
The end-user, I’ll be honest, it’s a little hard, because it’s like, we just finished a video and kind of pass it off. And then we’re not really sure you know, where it goes, like, we kind of have an idea of like, we’re going to put it on this page, we’re going to play it at this event or anything like that. I guess I can kind of share, you know, I don’t know if it’s like exactly like, Aha or what but you know. When we’re putting together videos, especially ones that are gonna be played at events, and especially for nonprofits, you know, we’re really going after those heartstrings.

We really want to deliver an impactful message, using interviews from clients, from volunteers, from customers, whoever it might be, and put together a narrative using multiple voices from people inside the company outside the company, geographic diversity, racial diversity like we just want to be able to show everybody who’s involved with this organization, and how much it means to them. Because that turns into donations.

And I think that using video that way, that’s kind of a deliberate way that you can the donations like that’s obviously very measurable. And so I think that that’s one way that people could be using video for sure.

Katherine Ong 42:34
You totally reminded me I used to volunteer at Make A Wish events – big fundraising galas. Yeah. And they always had a video and there’s no way I could make it through without crying.

So do you have any additional wins or resources? Because you just shared a ton throughout the entire interview, and we will list them all in the show notes. But is there any other one you were thinking of sharing that you haven’t talked about already?

Patrick Frank 43:01
Um, yeah. So I, what I can share is, I’m working with a company, they produce events. So they’re always looking for, you know, how can we what are these platforms, we can be hosting things on? Like, how can we be doing things better for virtual hybrid events?

And one of the things I talked to them about in this idea of becoming a video-first business, you should be putting videos in your proposals. So instead of just sending PDFs, I have a platform I use called bid sketch, there’s another one called proposal phi, there are a couple of these. And, basically, so instead of sending that PDF, you send that prospect to a web page where you can embed videos right into the proposal. And so if you had a couple of videos that were maybe a little bit more polished, that was kind of like about your company, or about your products or services that were reusable, that’s one kind of video that you can put into that proposal. But then you could also do one that’s very specific, like,

“Hey, company, I’m sending this proposal to, you know, thought a lot about our conversation. And, you know, we thought about XYZ”, maybe there’s a little bit of an opportunity there for some slides or something like that. You can maybe kind of explain how the proposal is laid out so that they can know what they’re looking at ahead of time. And again, these are just embedded right into that proposal. So I think that that is another really cool use of video that people should be thinking about.

Katherine Ong 44:26
That’s very interesting. I remember when I worked at my big agencies days, we used to, seriously holed up in a conference room for multiple days to practice for some of these proposal pitches, but it was face to face. So I kind of wonder what you’re doing now. Right? Zoom horridly or, you know, a prepared video would definitely be more effective, I would assume then on Zoom, right?

Patrick Frank 44:47
You just like, hey, we’re gonna show a video right now about the service or product or the team or whatever and you just like hit play, everyone gets a breather, get a swig of water now come back in your life. And so having, you know, when you’re that person, you’re pitching to that prospect that’s really engaging for them, like they don’t really know what’s coming next. It’s not just another 30, 40, 50 slide deck that they have to sit through. You know, you’re kind of throwing different looks at them and doing some things synchronously, some things asynchronously. I think it’s really compelling that way.

Katherine Ong 45:18
Interesting. Yeah. So how can people learn more about you?

Patrick Frank 45:24
Definitely. So I think the best way would just be to go to my website at Patrick.video. If you go to Patrick.video/Hello. You can sign up for my newsletter, and I’ll send you a couple of chapters of the book you can check out and I send a newsletter a couple of times a month, just about different trends in platforms that I’m testing out, so you can learn more that way.

Katherine Ong 45:47
Great. Thank you so much for being on the podcast is an amazing amount of information. Our listeners are gonna be so excited, and I promise all of it will be in the show notes of all of the different resources you shared.

Patrick Frank 45:58
Excellent. Thanks for having me. This is awesome.

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